Is Technology Ruining Your Relationship

by DavalosMcCormack on February 1, 2008

Have you ever been on the phone with someone and you could hear them clicking their computer keyboard as they sorta listened to you? How does that make you feel? How about walking down the street with a friend, having a nice conversation, and their cell phone rings and they “just have to take this call”. How about a father and son at a baseball game and every time you look over the Dad is on his cell? Is technology ruiningĀ  our relationships?

John O’Neill Director of Addiction Services at the Menninger Clinic in Houston says yes, and he has published 5 warning signs to spot “Addictive Gadget Behavior”. The signs include needing to have your cell phone with you at all times, or being late to a meeting because you were checking your e-mail; or how about those who would rather text someone than talk face-to-face; or my own favorite, those people who wear their cellphone earpieces all the time.

Now these kinds of behavior don’t happen overnight. They creep up on you. Slowly. Insidiously. Like all those extra pounds that you suddenly noticed around your waistline! One day you are in control of your devices. The next day, you can’t go five minutes without checking your “Crackberry”, and if you don’t have any phone calls or text messages for more than a couple of hours you check your phone to see that it’s still working.

The problem is not so much how we use technology, as how we let it use us, interfering with simple things like going out to dinner with friends, or just talking with someone we love. When you keep breaking eye contact to check your email, that’s not good.

But personal relationships are not the only victims of technology. Where did the relationship with all kinds of service oriented people go, people like receptionists, or your friendly gas station attendant. Where did your banker go? – to automated button pushing, password demanding, secret identifying, press 2 for account balance, speak or punch in your 15 digit account number, crazy lame ass, change your password…what the heck was it…did I change it or not, what did I call for, kind of, oh my gosh, never mind. That’s where it’s gone!

Technology is bleeding the relationships of doing business mano a mano. A recent article in “Inside Self Storage” a trade publication (who knew storage guys cared?) talks about the challenges facing business suppliers and the evaporation of the relationships that have been the backbone of doing business in the ever expanding global industry. Is this faceless technology good for business? Good for relationships? Good for us? It’s something to think about.

Please send an e-mail with your comments. An automatic reply will be posted to you. Just kidding.

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